Friday, April 15, 2011

Death of a friend

No, I am not here to be a downer and talk about the actual physical death of a friend of mine, but rather the unexpected death of our friendship. There was no drama or falling out of any kind that occurred, we simply changed as people to such an extent, that after time had passed (about 6 years) I realized, for the first time yesterday, that we have nothing in common anymore.

We get together now and again and no longer have anything to say. It is not a comfortable silence, but rather an odd space where I tend to wonder what I am doing hanging out with this guy anymore? Who we used to be and who we are now is so different. At least, I know I have changed.

Has this ever happened to any of you? Where close friends fade and somewhere in the space and time of our lives we never really learn to let go and keep following our patterns till it finally becomes obvious to at least one of us that this is no longer working and you really have no desire to invest any more energy in the relationship?

What do I do now? Is this apparent to him or is he still stuck at that place where he feels this is a productive and healthy friendship? Do I say something? Do I just fade away and become less a presence?

This has happened before to me, so it is not a new situation. I think it happens to us all more than we would like to admit. People change, interests find new directions and shapes, people become less of who they were and more of who they are. As this occurs what drew us together as people in the first place can be lost at times. I am sure this has happened in different dating relationships I have had, whether serious and long term, or short term fun flings. I can't say I have ever had a bad breakup. I am friends and on good speaking terms with all my exboyfriends and past partners. Sometime we know when things are ending, other times it just happens. Time moves us all.

But what is the etiquette with a friend? Especially with a friend of so many years? We have helped each other, in many ways, write the story or at least different chapters of our lives. We have been around, near and with each other ever since I moved back to the Midwest. I think it is time to move on.

I know, kind of random I guess, but it came to me yesterday afternoon while we were hanging out like we do often, that I no longer know this guy.

And I am okay with that.


  1. This feels strange, almost foreign to your writing style. I have always enjoyed the perspective of your writings, but this just feels different. Just a thought

    As for your question, communication is most always the best answer. We all move on in life, so it should come as no surprise to either of you that life is different for each. That doesn't mean you can't be friends. A simple knowledge and comfort of where each is allows each to call on that friendship even though commonalities are slim. The trust and knowledge that a friend will be there for you regardless is a rare comfort. In other words, cherish the friendships you have and cultivate them for what they are, not what you expect them to be...

    only two cents although worth much less I'm sure.. keep blogging and sharing your interesting life...


  2. Steve,

    I do realize that this post has a different feel or vibe to it. I am usually rather passionate about life and my friends but for some reason, this whole situation has found me rather passive, if not apathetic.

    Friendships and relationships are valuable and should not be set aside lightly, I realize this, but in the course of life, this one seems to have played its course and we are now two strangers who merely orbit each other on occasion.

    I still don't have an answer for it. Maybe time will tell?


  3. When I was forced out of the closet, all of my close "friends" from my time in Los Angeles dropped me. It was very sudden (atleast from my perspective). The one who I had been best man in his wedding just a few years before told me in our last conversation that "I had changed and we had little in common anymore." I didn't feel it at the time but now I certainly know that I have little in common with the typical fundamentalist evangelical christian.

    All that to say, you're right. And life moves on. I wouldn't postpone the inevitable.

  4. One of my best friends is a guy I only get to see once or twice a year, if I'm lucky. The funny thing is that when we do get together, we pick up right where we left off before. It's like there has merely been a 6 month pause in our conversation. (But then again, I'm weird like that.)

  5. Joe,

    I also have friends like this, all over the country and world from my Navy days and travels. Time seems to stop while we are apart and we simply pick up where we left off.

    This friendship, and a few others, seem to be ones that I am watching die. The entire process that usually occurs while people are apart and then lose contact with each other is actually happen in real time.

    I do not know what to make of it. I actually have spent more time with my friend this week to see if I am mistaken in my thoughts and feelings, but they seem to ring true each time we are together. We really are two strangers now who happen to be near each other and talk.


  6. Odd, I've been thinking this for a year or so. One of my oldest and closest friends and I are just not longer either of those (or so I think). His partner doesn't like me, I don't like his partner one bit. The friend reads my blog and is on FB, and maybe it's how I read his comments to me, but they are just tinged with meanness.

    I haven't addressed it yet, bc I don't know how too, but others have noticed the separation and said something to me.

    I guess just bc it's lasted for 25 yrs doesn't mean it'd go on forever, right?